Burlington County’s Evesham Township couple detained over 100 malnourished dead dogs

North Carolina nonprofit's tip prompts Evesham arrest; child found amid tragic animal scene in Burlington County residence.

In a quiet neighborhood of Evesham Township, Burlington County, a harrowing scene was uncovered as over 100 dead dogs were found inside a residence. The occupants, Rebecca Halbach (35) and Brandon Leconey (32) have since been apprehended.

The discovery was initiated by a North Carolina-based nonprofit group that provided Halbach and Leconey with several adoptable dogs and funds for their care. Alarm bells rang when a group member, following up on the welfare of the animals, became suspicious upon realizing one of the dogs had perished. The situation became even murkier when he visited the couple’s home. Evesham Police Chief Walt Miller explained, “They were trying to pass off another dog as the dog he was looking for.” That discrepancy spurred the police into action.

A House of Horrors

Upon their 2:45 p.m. Monday arrival, law enforcement officers were met with a scene of utter devastation. More than 30 canine carcasses in various stages of decomposition were discovered throughout the property. But the horrors did not end there. Chief Miller detailed the conditions: “(There were) dogs in cages. Live dogs in cages. Dead dogs in cages. Dead animals all over the house.” Preliminary investigations suggest malnutrition is the likely cause of death for these animals.

In addition to the deceased dogs, officers found 14 live dogs, several cats, and rabbits inside the house. Disturbingly, further searches of the premises led to the discovery of even more deceased dogs buried beneath a tarp in a large pit.

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The Child’s Plight

Amidst the grim scene was a 9-year-old boy living in what can only be described as unsanitary conditions. Fortunately, he seemed in good health, as per the police. The boy has since been taken under the wings of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P).

The surviving animals are now being cared for in local shelters and hospitals. Tragically, one of the rescued dogs had to be euthanized.

Legal Proceedings Underway

The relationship between the detained individuals and the child remains unspecified. It’s important to note that while charges have been leveled against Halbach and Leconey, including child neglect and animal cruelty, they remain accusations. Both individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.